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Back to London

It’s an early start back to London and we are up before the crack of dawn, not that hard to do over here since that is about 8am, 2:30am as a matter of fact. Thankfully we have an Uber so no rushing to trains and buses hoping they run on time or at all. It’s smooth sailing all the way with Ryanair and we touch down in London to meet up with another Uber driver. He is very friendly and off we go only to stop at the gate to go out and the poor fellow can’t find his parking ticket. He talks to the airport via the intercom and they say he will need to pay a £50 fee – crikey. I ask if he wants to try and find it and back we go. Oliver helps him and as luck would have it the ticket is found, a miracle with the wind sending everything flying, the parking fee is only £5.50 so he is greatly relieved. The fare is only £62 so if he had to pay the exorbitant airport fee he would have made no money at all.
It’s time for Shane and I to relax, have a nice evening in with Jazz and Dan while the others look forward to an evening at the Fat Duck.

Red Bus Berlin Style

We are all set, receipts in hand and off to join the red bus tour of Berlin…..BUT it is not that simple or so it seems. Shane and I are on a different bus to the others apparently but when we get the right man who sells the same tickets we exchange our receipt for a ticket and we can then go on any of the buses – for any future Berlin trips it is much better to buy the from the ticket sellers on the street! Finally we head off and the rest of the fam head off – basically to the same places so all is good. Our tactic is to do a whole loop on the bus and then get on and off at the places we want a closer look at.
We listen to the commentary covering everything from the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe, a confronting maze of stone blocks with over 3 million names, the Brandenburg Gate, with the history of Napoleons taking the horses with him as the spoils of war and it is here that our bus takes a break.
We wait for 10 minutes when the driver suddenly appears up the stairs to tell us to get off. The bus has been decommissioned but the next bus is only 5 minutes. We suspect it is the lack of tourists so we wait. Finally as people are getting cranky a ticket seller tells us the next bus is 20 minutes away – all we can do is wait. It actually doesn’t take that long but we now decide to get off at places we want to in case the buses stop altogether.
Checkpoint Charlie, remnants of the wall, so many sad storie, museums with an overload of information until finally we decide to go to some markets and meet the kids.

I am on the bus and on the phone when this lady stands up and blasts me saying to Shane “I didn’t pay to hear your wife”. Of course I get straight off the phone and apologise but to no avail. She gets off at the next stop and continues to make hand gestures at me while walking off. That definitely puts an end to our bus tour and we get off close to the biggest markets we have seen and wait for the youngsters to find us. A couple of nice warm eggnogs and a few beers puts us in a better mood. We also enjoy the best waffles I’ve ever had. Freshly made, cream, banana, nuts, sprinkles, crunch straw all dripping with caramel sauce. A nice way to end the evening.

Exploring Berlin

Our first day in Berlin and we are all starving so a quick trip to the Penny wise grocery shop and we are ready to go. Shopping here is interesting with the price on a bottle of rum coming in at 3.99 euros so Australian $6:30 plus there are bottles of grog everywhere randomly through the the store just in case you forgot when you were picking up the toothpaste – oh yeah I’ll need some vodka to go with that! A relatively easy day but good to get used to the trains – I don’t have to worry as the youngsters have all this stuff worked out. Love, love love it!
We are heading to our first Christmas markets but decide to have a beer and then a pork knuckle at a beer hall just across the road. I don’t even like pork but this looked amazing – full on crackle, meat falling off the bone, sitting in a onion gravy. Those that indulged were fully satisfied.
I love the markets with the mulled wine that warmed you all the way down to your toes, the live entertainment and the interesting stalls.
The girls get on to some amazing eggnog but I was too busy talking to a couple who are visiting from out in the country, I know that is a shock me talking, so I missed out and from all later tastings they were deemed the best – of course. Still I did enjoy my chat which is always a good way to gain more understanding of the country you are in. This couple had come into Berlin to see family and the markets but we’re disappointed with people in Berlin being very unfriendly – I guess that’s why they started talking to a couple of Aussies. Being in a group of our own we didn’t really notice but looking over the time there it was other tourists that we mainly struck up a conversation with – still it is cold so maybe all the friendly Berlinians are staying home.
Berlin as a city has embraced this time of the year and is lit up with Christmas, which you can’t help but feel happy about, and everywhere we go there is some spectacular display to see.


Today we sort out tickets and all other important travelling necessities – Ryanair insist that tickets are printed which is a bit of a pain, I get a SIM card organised, have some delicious Turkish food just near Daniels place and then it’s off to the airport. Yes, as silly as it sounds we are off again to Berlin. Hardly time for us to recover from our flight from Australia but the Berlin Christmas markets, the wall and other things are waiting to be explored – plenty of time to rest another day.
Thankfully Shane and I have some excellent navigators with us, this is why we had children lol to help us get around when we are old and have no idea about on-line maps, ubers, travel apps ect, so we hop on trains and then off again, as per instructions, followed up by a brisk 20 minute walk we arrive at our Airbnb. We are on the top floor, 5 stories up with no elevator – yep we knew that when we booked – I thought it may have been good to have this with all the food we were going to be consuming – forced to exercise or no bed! This was a bit trickier for Shane who likes a cigarette or two but it was not a deterrent.
The only thing that was a bit disappointing to arrive at our accommodation so late, cold, with no milk, coffee or tea on hand to appreciate – obviously not a super host!
Again we are tired, very tired so we are asleep in no time at all.


Arriving at London airport after a 23 hour flight is hard enough but then we are directed into what I like to call the cattle yards or cattle race as Shane likes to call it. Even the airport staff are apologetic but as many planes arrive first thing in the morning there is little to be done but to stop, start, move a little, stop and then repeat for an hour and a half. There is talk of Australian passport holders to have a smother entry by next year so that will be fantastic.
Thankfully we are picked up up so no battling the trains today.
We get to see Daniel and Jazz’s home for the first time on the inside so all very exciting. Of course we do come with 5 suitcases, 5 backpacks and more bags of duty free so space is soon taken up.

Coffee and tea all round with a quick catch up before we head off. Daniels cure for jet lag is to stay up until that time zones night time – we will see.
The tour of walthamstow begins. It is not far to the shops and some pretty impressive markets that sell such delights as Yorkshire pudding burritos and the delicious varieties of olives – the anchovy stuffed ones coming out on top – for those who like disgusting little hairy fishes.
As the afternoon wears on we find we are all getting a little thirsty so it’s time to explore the breweries. There are still some interesting places, and people, in between each place which is a good thing. The Gin distellery is really special with some tasty cocktails to try and a little sloe gin to take with us.
A roast beef and Yorkshire pudding at a local pub is a perfect dinner for our first night in the UK and it doesn’t disappoint.
We are all so tired now, exhausted and I barely make it to bed before falling asleep.

Maginnity Murder Trail Tumbarumba

3/11/20184.5 km loop.

I suppose this walk may seem a little macabre and it is true we follow the trail of a man mortally wounded in what appears to be an innocent crossing of paths between the policeman, Sergeant David Maginnity, and outlaw, Dan Morgan. I look at as a respectful way to honour a police officer dying in the line of duty. The irony of the trail is that it is currently maintained by the Mannus Correctional Centre

(From the Wynyard Times “Extraordinary,” June 27)
It is our painful duty to record the death of senior-sergeant David Maginnity, of Tumbarumba, who was, on
Friday lost, shot dead by the notorious bushranger Morgan.It appears that early on Thursday, sergeant Maginnity, accompanied by constable Churchley, left Tumbarumba for Copabella, a distance of twenty miles. On their return next morning, they encountered Morgan within five miles of Copabella, at about half-past ten o’clock. At this time Churchley was a little in advance of Maginnity, when the latter, seeing Morgan, cantered up to Churchley, and hurriedly inquired of him who that was. Almost before receiving a reply, he rode smartly up to Morgan’s side, Churchley being about fifteen or twenty yards to the rear. Morgan instantly fired at Maginnity, whose horse there upon rushed into the bush. At the same time, Morgan’s
horse took the opposite direction, leaving Churchley on the road, but as his horse was completely knocked up he soon lost sight of both of them. Churchley then retraced his steps as best he could to Copabella for a fresh horse, with which he was supplied about noon and immediately started alone for Tumbarumba. In vain Churchley searched for his comrade at the place of encounter. He, however, proceeded on his course for a few miles, when he again came up with Morgan, who fired at him and sent a bullet through some part
of his coat, and passed on. Soon after close to Glenroy Station, Churchley saw Morgan for the third time and fired at him, but the distance being great the ball fell harmless. At about sundown Churchley reached Mr Craven’s, where he was furnished with a fresh horse to take him to Tumbarumba. Constable Churchley with three volunteers, started early on Saturday to ascertain the fate of poor Maginnity, whose
dead body was discovered by the mailman, that same morning, between nine and ten 0’clock, six miles from
Copabella on the Tumbarumba roadside. His pockets were turned inside out, and some papers and matches were scattered about the place where his corpse lay. He appeared to be shot close to the eye and in the ribs. Mr Craven dispatched a cart to convey the remains to his house.
Up to nine o’clock on Saturday night Churchley and party had not returned, but the down mailman met them within two miles of the place where the body was found.
The deceased was an active and efficient member of the force and was much respected by all who knew him. He had been stationed at Tumbarumba about three years, and leaves a wife and four young chilaren to mourn their loss. He was a native of Belfast, Ireland, and was about forty years of age.
A magisterial inquiry was held on Tuesday, in the courthouse at Tumbarumba, which occupied four hours, during which time the place was crowded to excess, and numbers could not gain admittance. Since the foregoing statement was penned, we have received a report of the magisterial inquiry, which in substance corresponds with the above particulars.The only additions we now desire to make are that both deceased and Churchley were armed with revolvers and their carbines, and that when Maginnity was shot at, Churchley fired two shots from his revolver at Morgan as the latter was galloping round to the road, he being then a hundred and fifty yards distant. Only one bullet wound could be found in the body of deceased, the bruise on the head being caused by falling from his horse. The horse Maginnity rode, together with saddle, bridle, and firearms, has not yet been found, but the horse whioh Morgan rode is now in charge of the police. Churchley positively swears to Morgan’s identity. The doctor, after making a post mortem examination, declared that such a wound would cause death in twenty
minutes. The deceased was in no other way mal-treated, as at onetime reported in Tumut.

Its a great combination of a little bit of history with some exercise out in the bush.

Green Gully Track 5

5/10/2018 17km

‘Back to the start’… only better – on to Cedar Lodge.

We are pretty much straight into it this morning and it is looking like we may get some rain. In the first 3 kilometres we will climb 600 metres and so for the first hour it is a steady, constant, uphill climb. The higher we go the better the view so it does have some benefit apart from building up our calf muscles.

…and its up we go.

Our breaks are more frequent but shorter to get us through the tougher steeper sections and we have more ‘ah ha’ breaks on this fire trail than when we were going down.
Whilst the majority of today is going up we do drop a 100 meters or so down to the Birds Nest Creek crossing and it is like a semi rain forest paradise. The creek is loaded with fat, black, healthy tadpoles that will hopefully grow into Stuttering Barred Frogs. These frogs are on the endangered list and do not do well in places that are regularly disturbed so its important to stick to the main track. Look but don’t touch.
There also seems to be more flowers on display for us to enjoy and they are much appreciated by this weary walker.

After 7km we join the Kunderang Trail and we begin to re-trace our steps from the first day – only 10km to go.
The mountain range, now on our left, is a deep indigo blue today due to the heavy rain clouds and lack of sunshine. White low lying clouds seem to be peeping over the tops of the ridges as if waiting to engulf the hills after we pass.
The rain does begin to fall, softly at first and enough for us to have to put on our pack covers. It is a gentle rain, which cools the air making things much more pleasant and there is nothing quite like the smell of rain to lift the spirits. We are so fortunate to be on our way back to base today as, if the weather does set in, some of the tracks will be nastily slippery in the coming days.
We stop at the same place to rest on the same log before the final slog into Cedar Creek. I have noticed some ‘hot’ spots on my feet but should make it out OK and could quite possibly be from walking in the water yesterday – still wouldn’t have missed out on that.
2:25pm we finish together and the people who stayed here last night have left the fire going for us so its nice a cosy.

Soon its hot showers all round and I discover two blisters on my left foot – nothing on my right foot. What is with that???
The weather is closing in and it is the best spot to be, inside, watching over the valley, sipping on cider, nibbling on cheese and bickies and re-living tales of the tough but fantastic Green Gully Track.